Apr
05

‘Spring Training don’t mean sh*t’

By

In 8.2 Spring Training innings, LaTroy Hawkins was masterful. He allowed seven hits and two unearned runs while walking three and striking out three. But as he said on March 24, “Spring Training don’t mean shit.”

Truer words, LaTroy, were never spoken.

Just two appearances and 2.0 innings into the 2008 regular season, LaTroy Hawkins has been utterly shelled. He’s already one-upped those seven spring training hits and has given up 7 earned runs. He’s managed to walk no one, but he hasn’t struck anyone out either. Luckily for him, two innings does not a season make.

The other long reliever on the Yanks guaranteed hasn’t been much better. With two inherited runners on base, Kyle Farnsworth entered tonight’s game and, well, pulled a Kyle Farnsworth. One batter later, three Tampa Bay runs had scored, and a close 6-4 game quickly ended up at 13-4. On the season, Farnsworth hasn’t been terrible; he has 4 strike outs in 2.1 innings. But the five hits are not a good sign, and the home run tonight just seemed like business as usual for Krazy Kyle.

The rest of the bullpen, meanwhile, has been as good as advertised. Jonathan Albaladejo, Ross Ohlendorf, Joba Chamberlain, Mariano Rivera, Brian Bruney and Billy Traber have given up four hits and no runs in 11.2 innings. This sextet has recored 13 strike outs and one walk in the first four games of the season. Sadly for the Yanks, Albaladejo will be sentenced to the minors.

While sample size issues are certain a problem here, I’m wondering if the Yanks bullpen is better off with Albaladejo and Scott Patterson than it is with Kyle Farnsworth and LaTroy Hawkins. Funny how that works out, eh?

The rest of tonight’s 13-4 loss was rather forgettable. Ian Kennedy simply didn’t have his best stuff tonight. He was missing his spots badly, and his pitches were trailing over the center of the plate. They were very hittable, and the Tampa Bay Rays — a very underrated team — took full advantage of Kennedy’s mistakes. The Yanks meanwhile couldn’t hit a lick outside of one inning.

Today, the Yanks have Pettitte going with a chance to put the season’s first ugly loss behind them. Sadly, he’ll be backed up by one of the weaker combinations of relief pitching the Yanks could put behind him for now. As the starters get over their early-season pains, it will be interesting to see how the Yanks bullpen plays out. Right now, I don’t go to Hawkins or Farnsworth in key situations if I’m Joe Girardi. The kids, meanwhile, are alright.

30 Comments»

  1. Pique says:

    Ohlendorf only threw 9 pitches tonight, so he should be good for tomorrow.

  2. Bruno says:

    “While sample size issues are certain a problem here, I’m wondering if the Yanks bullpen is better off with Albaladejo and Scott Patterson than it is with Kyle Farnsworth and LaTroy Hawkins. Funny how that works out, eh?”

    No IF’s about it. Honestly, they should just release Hawkins instead of seanding Albaladejo down. I know they won’t, but they should.

    “Sadly, he’ll be backed up by one of the weaker combinations of relief pitching the Yanks could put behind him for now.”

    Joba might be stretched out tonight.

  3. TheBronxStop says:

    I still want Scott Patterson.

  4. Rich says:

    Bruney can pitch today.

    I think Hawkins has a month or so to prove himself. Farnsworth is probably staying, unless a team like Detroit wants to trade for him.

  5. Pique says:

    Porcello for Farnsy! Cash, make it happen.

  6. ceciguante says:

    don’t know if the TV mics picked it up, but the crowd was serenading latroy with “paul o-neill” chants shortly after his entrance. i know he pitched like a dog tonite, but i wish the crowd would give him, oh, more than 2 appearances before getting all over him. i know, it’s the bronx…but it’s almost like he was treated as an opposing player by his own fans. tough nite for latroy.

    on another point, i’m no big fan of latroy and certainly not farnsworth, but before we ask if albaladejo is a better option, can we let him get past 4 ip for the season? or are you guys relying on last year’s 14 ip with the nats? “sample size issues” is an understatement. as much as i hope he is far better than latroy or farns, the more accurate statement right now is probably “we just don’t know if he’s any good yet.”

  7. GoYankees says:

    Isn’t it just sad that the ones getting paid less are actually the ones performing?
    And the expensive pitchers are guaranteed spots, while Patterson is shaking his head down in the minors…

  8. Sparky says:

    I saw four spring training games in Tampa. Patterson was the best of the lot. If, for example, we can abide paying Pavano, then surely the gutsy move would be to release Hawkins and Farnsworth. There is NO chance we would want to be trusting them in an October game, and what we could trade either of them for would not be better than any of the kids (unless Cash found another GM drunk); and that’s without factoring the potential for this summer of having Cox, Melancon, and Patterson/ Albaladejo up (I count the last as gone when Pettitte comes off the DL) But I guess this isn’t a meritocracy. I liken this year’s group to the World Series White Sox bullpen where no one heard of them and they just threw the crap out of the ball. But Patterson was absolutely awesome, and Melancon is supposed to be better.

  9. Kennedy was really getting squeezed at the plate the first couple innings. For the first two innings he was putting the ball right to Molina’s glove, just the ump wouldn’t let him budge. The strikezone was pretty inconsistant. The Rays were getting calls that the yankees didn’t

    It was like the announcers said. When you are throwing strikes, those borderline pitches are strikes, when you are throwing balls those borderline pitchers are balls. Kennedy missed badly a few times, but most of the time he was right off the plate.

  10. mustang says:

    Agree totally with the posting. However, we missed the fact that Kyle Farnsworth and LaTroy Hawkins are yet another example of Mr. Cashman’s key free agent pitchers signings. I just don’t get it. If he gets all the credit for the “Big Three” and rebuilding the Yankees farm system why does he get a pass on the garbage he brings in. One look at Hawkins’ career numbers at Yankees Stadium should of been a clue.
    Cashman is a excellent young talent evaluator, but he is down right awful at reading the free agent market.

    • stefan says:

      Hawkins wasn’t brought in as a key free agent signing. It’s been no secret that he’s basically there to provide a veteran presence and not much more, and if he doesn’t perform then he’s gone. Hence the 1-year deal.

      Most other free agent relievers (Linebrink, Mahay, Vizcaino) were looking for multi-year deals. After being burned by Farnsworth, Cashman (as well as the majority of the Yankees fanbase) simply did not want to be handcuffed by a multi-year contract. I can’t really blame him, especially considering the abundance of potential relievers in the Minors. LaTroy is the very definition of the word “stopgap”. Cashman doesn’t want to burn out any pitchers’ arms needlessly. If it gets to a point where having LaTroy is just too unbearable, then he’ll hop on the same bus Mike Myers jumped on last year.

      You’re putting way too much on Cashman for this. How about blaming LaTroy for his bad performance, considering, ya know, he’s the one that pitched?

  11. mustang says:

    And Bruno… Hawkins is making 3.75 million this year release him I don’t know.
    It’s too early anyway.
    What a savings at just 3.75 ? LOL

    • Bruno says:

      I know it won’t happen, but that won’t stop me from wishing for it. Alby or Patterson deserve it. If they don’t cut it, we still have plenty of options. I’m not sold on the “veteran presence” idea. Mo is all the leadership we need from our ‘pen. Plus, there’s always JOBA. Hawkins is a waste of $ since we could get the same production, with the possibility of better, from a cheaper younger arm.

      Having a guy that’s “been there, done that” isn’t always a good thing. Just ask the ’03 Marlins and Yankees. Talent and potential are what to build a ‘pen and pitching staff with.

  12. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    it happens. it’s a new day today.

    IPK is going to have nights like that. he wasn’t throwing strikes, and it caught up with him quickly. we wanted to save the Big 3. we now have to watch them take their lumps.

    Hawkins does deserve a month or two. we’ve taken on veterans we’ve cut before (Juan Acevedo, anyone?). i’m sure this will work itself out, one way or another.

    c’mon Andy!!!!!

  13. GoYankees says:

    It’s good to see Hawkins and Farnsworth in midseason form so early. It should make it more obvious what needs fixing. It will take much convincing to get Cash to admit errors that cost some money. But Cash is also the one who built the farm system. So bringing up Patterson, Albalajedo, Cox, Melancon should be a natural.

  14. mustang says:

    Could not agree more:
    Jorge Steinbrenner “we wanted to save the Big 3. we now have to watch them take their lumps.”
    GoYankees “It will take much convincing to get Cash to admit errors that cost some money. But Cash is also the one who built the farm system”

    But I hope he can get convinced a little faster it’s been 3 years with Farnsworth.

  15. RollingWave says:

    quick, Farnsy and Hawkins, two of Dusty Baker’s favored whipping boys in the 03 Cubs pen for Joey Votto! who according to Dusty takes too many pitches ;)

    hell i’ll throw in Matsui as well if they throw in Bailey :P

  16. kingshaffy says:

    Sample size hurts Farnsworth, I mean its been proved, over and over and over again that Farnsworth SUCKS and cannot get it done in the Bronx. Hawkins, we’ll see. But clearly there is no point in having 2 roster spots filled by public enemy 1 & 2.

    Anyone else notice Farnsworth’s velocity is markedly down? He’s another guy I think was on the juice.

  17. Rich says:

    I have no idea whether or not Farnsworth was or is juicing, but you can’t fully assess a pitcher’s velocity in early April. Mo’s gun reading were as low as I have ever seen them in Thursday’s game.

  18. LiveFromNewYork says:

    Agree. I want Abbadabba and Patterson. Send down Farnsworth and Hawkins.

    I’m sick of Farnsworth and sick of giving him chance after chance. HE SUCKS. End of story. I don’t want to give Hawkins a chance. I’m sick of relievers dealing meatballs. We have very strong candidates in the pen and Patterson in the minors. We do NOT need people to come in and stink up the place.

    The kids are going to struggle. We all know this. Ian is still alright with me.

  19. Fatso says:

    Anyone else notice how fooloish Rays hitters looked when Farnsworth threw the slider? He was two different pitchers last night – the one who threw the four seamer and looked bad, and the one who threw the slider and looked dominant.

  20. zack says:

    Just remember guys, the more Farnswacker sucks, the more likely it is that Joba remains in the bullpen. Sure, Ohlie might make his case for 8th inning work, but its not likely…

  21. Bruno says:

    I know it won’t happen, but that won’t stop me from wishing for it. Alby or Patterson deserve it. If they don’t cut it, we still have plenty of options. I’m not sold on the “veteran presence” idea. Mo is all the leadership we need from our ‘pen. Plus, there’s always JOBA. Hawkins is a waste of $ since we could get the same production, with the possibility of better, from a cheaper younger arm.

    Having a guy that’s “been there, done that” isn’t always a good thing. Just ask the ‘03 Marlins and Yankees. Talent and potential are what to build a ‘pen and pitching staff with.

  22. Joe says:

    Just to get it out of the way, I’m not a die hard Yankees fan. I am not a Yankee hater, though. I AM a Scott Patterson fan. As an outsider perspective…

    If the Yankees have no second thoughts about spending whatever it takes to make your team a world series winner, than why is releasing a guy who is hurting your team ever a bad thing, regardless of money. Getting rid of a couple guys killing your team (especially when it’s accpeted their replacements would do at LEAST as well) should be a no brainer even if it costs 5 million dollars. You spend 200 million to win games, doesn’t it make sense to spend 5 more to keep from losing them?

    • GoYankees says:

      Right on, Joe. Roster spots are limited in number, so have value to the team. The cost of having bums on the team is much greater than the cash laid out. Albie, Patterson, Cox, Melancon make money for the team by producing and by having fan support.

  23. [...] In all likelihood, Jonathan Albaladejo will be sent back to AAA to make room for Pettitte, and I am not a fan of that [...]

  24. JD says:

    How about we fake injures for Hawkins and maybe Farnsworth (I have a minute amount of confidence in the latter) and DL’em?

    Patterson ^
    Albaladejo ^

    Our bullpen:

    9th – Rivera
    8th – Joba
    7th – Ohlendorf/Patterson/Albaladejo
    6th – Bruney
    LH – Traber

    Absolutely dominating, with Melancon/Sanchez/Cox MOVIN on UP

  25. JD says:

    I wish I made this more clear when Cashman did it but I thought the Jonathan Pap…Errr Albaladejo trade was no risk good upside. Look at his stuff MAN!

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